Can the World Tolerate an Iran with Nuclear Weapons?
Written by Amos Yadlin
Series Title: The Munk Debates
- POLITICAL SCIENCE / Arms Control
- POLITICAL SCIENCE
Publication Date February 01, 2013
With tensions between Iran, Israel, and Western powers reaching new highs over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear enrichment program, the tenth edition of the Munk Debates investigates how the world should respond to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
For some, the case for a pre-emptive strike on Iran is ironclad. An Iranian bomb would flood the volatile Middle East with nuclear weapons and trap Israel in a state of perilous insecurity — along with much of the world’s oil supply. Others argue that a nuclear Iran could be the very stabilizing force that the region needs, as the threat of nuclear war makes conventional conflicts more risky. These same voices also ask: can the West and Israel afford to attack Iran when doing so could roll back the Arab Spring and re-entrench reactionary forces throughout the Middle East?
In this edition of the Munk Debates — Canada’s premier international debate series — former Israel Defense Forces head of military intelligence Amos Yadlin, Pulitzer Prize–winning political commentator Charles Krauthammer, CNN host Fareed Zakaria, and Iranian-born academic Vali Nasr debate the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran.
For the first time ever, this electrifying debate, which played to a sold-out audience, is now available in print, along with candid interviews with the debaters.
With tempers flaring between governments, the world’s oil supply in peril, and global security at risk, the Munk Debate on Iran tries to answer: Can the world tolerate an Iran with nuclear weapons?
Amos Yadlin is a former Israeli Air Force general, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military attaché to the United States, and head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate. He was one of eight pilots to successfully bomb Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981. After retiring from the IDF in November 2010, Yadlin joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as the Kay Fellow on Israeli national security. In November 2011, he was appointed director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. He has written for the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, among others, and provides frequent expert commentary to CNN, BBC, and National Public Radio. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Charles Krauthammer is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator, and physician. His column is syndicated to more than 275 newspapers and media outlets. He is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and The New Republic. He is also a weekly panelist on the PBS news program Inside Washington and a nightly panelist on Fox New’s Special Report with Bret Baier. Krauthammer was recently hailed by the Financial Times as the most influential political commentator in America. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Fareed Zakaria is host of CNN's flagship international affairs program, Fareed Zakaria GPS, which won the 2012 Peabody Award. He is also the editor-at-large of Time, contributing editor at The Atlantic, a Washington Post columnist, and a former editor of Newsweek International. He is the author of the international bestsellers, The Future of Freedom and The Post-American World: Release 2.0. He was described by Esquire as “the most influential foreign policy adviser of his generation” and was included on Foreign Policy’s list of “Top 100 global thinkers.”
Vali Nasr is an Iranian-born, leading expert on the Middle East, a best-selling author, Dean of the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a member of the U.S. State Department's influential Policy Planning Board. He is also a Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution and a contributor to Bloomberg View. He has taught at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, the University of San Diego, and was a Senior Fellow at the Belfar Center at Harvard University, as well as at Stanford University. He served as a senior advisor to the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2009 and 2011 and is a life member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Rudyard Griffiths is the co-organizer and moderator of the Munk Debates. He is also the co-founder of the Dominion Institute, co-director of the Grano Speakers Series, and author of Who We Are: A Citizen's Manifesto. Rudyard lives in Toronto.